My staff could look at any single day of my professional life and decide based on this that \n\nthey would never want to be a CIO. They see me as the person that must answer all the hard \n\nquestions when systems and processes don't work. They think my job is hard and complex, and \n\nthat it appears to be nearly impossible to succeed at. \n\nMore on CIO.com\nPlan for Succession\n\nHow to Develop the Next Generation of IT Leaders\n\n6 Ways to Develop Highly Successful People\n\nThe Best CIOs Are Great Leaders, Not Good Managers\n\nThis perception is widespread in the IT industry, which makes it all the more important for \n\nthe current generation of CIOs to develop and maintain a robust pipeline of future CIO candidates. Being prepared to rapidly replace people in critical leadership positions is \n\nalso a business imperative. Thus, we need to make the case for the CIO job to the IT and \n\nbusiness professionals who we believe can step into our shoes.\n\nI am always looking for IT or business leaders who I think can make the jump to CIO. But \n\nit's not enough to identify them; we also have to develop them as leaders. Even when individuals say they want to be a CIO, often they don't \n\nreally know what the job entails or what it could require of them.\n\nI use my CIO office to provide potential CIOs with a formal development process to support \n\nour future IT leadership needs. It includes rotational positions on my team and \n\nopportunities to serve in business leadership roles. It is also important to look at \n\nexternal talent. A promotion to CIO should not be a rite of passage or an entitlement. \n\nNevertheless, CIOs are responsible for developing talented people, giving them the right \n\nexperience and then selecting the very best talent for open positions.\n\nWhat Future CIOs Must Know\n\nI start by explaining the core responsibilities of my job: I oversee information resource \n\nmanagement and operations for the business. While it is helpful to have IT skills that can \n\nbe applied to solve problems, the primary role of the CIO is to tie corporate strategy to IT \n\ninvestment in order to improve business capabilities and efficiencies. \n\nI believe that the core abilities people need to become successful CIOs are:\n\n\tAnalysis skills. The CIO career path should include business systems analyst \n\nexperience. Such jobs prove that a person can use problem-solving skills and analysis \n\ntechniques to apply technology in the right place at the right time, in support of the \n\nbusiness needs. CIOs also need process analysis experience so they can leverage knowledge of \n\ncurrent and future IT capabilities that will improve processes.\n\tFinancial acumen. Experience managing financial investments is critical. CIOs are \n\nresponsible for one \nof the largest investments the business makes, and we must be able to \n\nevaluate the effectiveness of these investments against the business cases that established \n\ntheir requirements. \n\tCommunications expertise. CIOs must be able to communicate with\u2014and listen \n\nto\u2014business leaders, the workforce and the IT industry. This give-and-take is the only \n\nway to ensure that the CIO office is making a difference to the company and that systems are \n\nworking as intended. \n\nWith these capabilities as development goals, I use my CIO office as a place to develop up-and-coming leaders.\n\nHow to Teach Them\n\nMy approach is to teach potential CIOs how the IT department functions within the business \n\nas well as provide training in specific business disciplines.\n\nI start by using the CIO office as a development opportunity. Most CIOs would agree that \n\nexposure to top-level business decision making is essential for people who are interested in \n\nbecoming CIOs\u2014they need to understand how IT systems and processes interrelate with \n\nother business functions. What better place to provide that exposure than within the office \n\nof the CIO? My CIO office consists of dedicated and matrixed personnel, with the positions \n\nof business systems analyst and portfolio systems analyst identified for rotational \n\ndevelopment. For 24 to 36 months, we expose the individuals in these positions to the \n\nexecutive level of the business and hone their skills in IT capital planning, business \n\nprocess analysis, communication of IT value and management of large programs. \n\nOne of their key duties and most important experiences comes in defining the enterprise \n\nsystem plan and architecture. To do this, they interact with senior leadership to collect \n\ninformation about the business strategy and organizational requirements. They use this \n\ninformation to support enterprise architecture development.\n\nPeople in rotations also study where the business will be in the future, look at the \n\ntechnology infrastructure we have in place today and plan the migration to systems that will \n\nrepresent the future state.\n\nThrough such experiences, these individuals gain first-hand exposure to strategy and \n\nlong-term planning from an IT and business perspective. They learn that the systems that are \n\nhere today are not necessarily going to be here tomorrow. And they learn how to budget for, \n\nplan and execute programs that get us to where the business needs to be. \n\nAfter the potential CIOs spend two to three years in the CIO office, I work to provide them \n\nwith experience in managing a part of the business. They may run a P&L center in one of our \n\nlines of business. They may work in functional areas such as human resources or finance. Or \n\nthey may run an internal IT program such as implementation of a major ERP subcomponent. In \n\nthese roles, they take and apply the knowledge they have acquired in direct support of the \n\nbusiness. These assignments can last for two to five years.\n\nThe Well-Rounded CIO\n\nOnce individuals have sufficient background and work experience\u2014and when they decide \n\nthat they really want to be a CIO\u2014we provide further development. For example, we \n\nmight send them to formal training programs that teach the fundamentals of IT capital \n\nplanning, investment control, portfolio management, IT security or IT \n\nleadership\u2014whatever is needed to round out their capabilities and qualify them for a \n\npotential CIO role in one of our businesses. \n\nUltimately, CIOs determined to build the leadership pipeline need to consider why today's IT professionals would care to step into \n\nour shoes. The people I see who really want CIO jobs are the people who are focused on \n\nmaking a difference in how IT contributes to the success of the business. They also want a \n\njob where they have the freedom to contribute to the business as a whole.\n\nThis kind of freedom to make things better across the business spectrum is not only the key \n\nattraction to the job, it's our value proposition. We must work harder to get that message \n\nacross to those we hope will follow in our footsteps.